We’ve all been there before. You go about your day thinking nothing can go wrong and suddenly— your smartphone slips from your hand plummeting to the ground —SMACK! The horrific sound of a $1000+ handheld computer touchscreen shattering on the ground below you. You even responsibly put a rugged case on it with a screen protector…. and SOMEHOW still your phone is left useless and you are left scrambling to figure out how you will get through the workday without your primary device. The terror!

This slice of life that we’ve all experienced brings us to our first reason to ditch your handheld work technology and go WEARABLE.

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#1 You’re Going to Break Your Handheld Device

No matter how careful you are, you will at some point drop your enterprise smartphone, tablet, or handheld scanner and likely damage it. However, you can’t drop something if it isn’t in your hands. We’re talking about wearable technology, which helps mitigate drops simply by the fact it’s worn, not held. On average, customers we engage with experience at least 2-3 devices damaged or needing replacement per month*, with drops cited as 75% of the reason for damage or replacement. Drops may be the main cause of device damage, but the list goes on, from being run over by forklifts to accidentally leaving smartphones and handheld scanners inside packages and unknowingly shipping them to customers in their parcels. While frustrating and costly, this is a problem that can be easily fixed. At Rufus we’ve listened to our customers, from Fortune 50 to local SMBs, and have engineered the Rufus Cuff to be comfortably worn on the wrist to allow complete mobility while working, and also prevent drops, misplacement, and mishaps related to handheld work devices.

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#2 Wearables Increase Productivity by 20%

If your non-desk industrial workforce uses smartphones, you are far better off than relying on clipboards and paper. However you are missing out on ample productivity gains because the devices you are currently using take up the hands needed to perform work tasks. Moving heavy boxes or operating industrial machinery requires BOTH hands. Every time your workers put their smart device in their pocket, set down their tablets, or run back to computer before engaging in a two-hand task, they are wasting time… and time costs you money. Luckily, there is room for improvement: A study by the University of London demonstrated an 8.5% increase in productivity due to wearables across all industries. Furthermore in a Rufus Labs case study warehouse workers of a major apparel brand switched from handheld barcode scanners to the Rufus Cuff + Rufus Ring wearables and improved worker productivity by 20%. When it comes to industrial tasks, two hands are more efficient than one.

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#3 Safety. Safety. Safety.

Workforce safety is critical in any industry and employees are at an even higher risk for injury within industrial environments like the warehouse, manufacturing floor, or in the field. Automated-heavy machinery, fast-moving vehicles, and intense and repeated physical labor are just some of the dangers posed to industrial workers. Handheld devices distract workers by diverting their focus from the task at hand to the device in their hand. Wrist wearables, however, allow workers to glance down at the wrist or understand a haptic vibration without stopping their task or removing a device from their pocket. This slight nuance makes the difference between life and death where a multitude of industrial forces are orchestrated in a contained space. Additionally, ergonomic and lightweight wearable devices reduce occupational hazards like repeated strain injuries from traditional handhelds. In the logistics industry 63% of workers experience arm strain due to large and heavy handheld devices and are forced to take an average of 2.75 days off to recover. On average this costs employers' $400/worker. Bulky-ruggedized scanners from Zebra and Honeywell can range in weight up to 8 lbs, while wearables like the Rufus Cuff, and Rufus Ring weigh just ounces. Avoiding workplace injuries and repeated strain from outdated technology saves $$$, time, and most importantly ensures your workers’ well-being.

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#4 Because Your Workforce Will Love It

In case you didn’t see it- our last Rufus post outlined why technology is key to retaining and attracting top industrial talent. Workplaces that fail to provide innovative, new, and useful technology see high attrition rates. Warehousing and manufacturing both experience 30%+ yearly turnover, making retaining quality talent a challenge. The tools workers have to use every single day can either be an attractive benefit or a reason to switch to more innovative company. Companies with the latest workforce tech that makes their job more enjoyable will win, and enterprises who hold on to their legacy practices will see lower levels of employee satisfaction and happiness at work. Wearable technology is the frontier technology for the workforce, and will dominate enterprise technology with an expected market share of $22B by 2025. Keep your workforce happy with the latest technology, and you won’t get left behind.

If those 4 reasons aren’t enough to convince you, reach out to us today for a demo of the Rufus Wearable Platform! Have a great day and try not to drop your handheld device!